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director mike morrell met with john mccain, lindsey graham and kelly ayotte over what rice knew the in the days after the deadly consulate attack in benghazi. all three claim to be more troubled after this meeting. >> we're significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get. >> bottom line, i'm more disturbed now than i was before that the 16th september explanation about how four americans died by ambassador rice, i think, does not do justice to the reality at the time. >> clearly the impression that was begin, the information begin to the american people was wrong. in fact, ambassador rice said today, absolutely, it was wrong. >> and within the past hour the white house once again defended ambassador rice. >> focus on some might say obsession made on comments made on sunday shows seems, to me, and to many, to be misplaced. >> and the ambassador herself made this statement only a short time ago. it read in part, quote, i appreciated the opportunity to discuss these issues directly and structurive wi them. the administration remains committed t
including oklahoma senator coburn, arizona's john mccain, south carolina's graham, idaho's crapo, tennessee's alexander, and georgia's sam bliss. it is not that they have all become antipledge, more like, well, antisweeping pledge. particularly the party of that pledge that called for resisting any move to end any tax break. to hear georgia's chambliss, too rigid, too inflexible, noting times have changed significantly, and i care more about my country than i do about a to-year-old pledge. if so, so what now? norquist in a second, to bob on republicans increasingly happy to make grover the grinch. what do we make of this? what is going on? >>guest: republicans lost the election. it was about tax policy. most republicans want to get a deal they have to give something up. they will want something in run so if they bend on taxes they will want an entitlement reform, so, that is the rub, but, republicans do not want to raise the rates with you they want to eliminate the tax loopholes and bay down the debt. that would break grover's pledge. >>neil: i have the pledge, something that a lot of the
lindsey graham, kelly ayotte and -- >> they were upset. john mccain over the weekend. >> john mccain backed up. >> so it's really cool when she said i'm sorry. >> she did the brave thing and went right in there and said i want to -- >> how did that work. >> and talked about her initial account of the attack and explained to them she was relying on faulty intelligence and talking points from the intelligence community. >> they said? >> they said, you know what, we still don't get it. >> throw the video. >> we are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get. it is clear that the information that she gave the american people was incorrect. >> bottom line, i'm more disturbed now than i was before. >> if you don't know what happened just say you don't know what happened. people can push you to give explanations and i want to say -- >> i'm more troubled today knowing having met with the acting director of the cia and ambassador rice. clearly the impression that was given, the information given to the american people was wrong, in fact, ambassad
campaigned and won re-election on. senator lindsey graham also breaking with norquist says no on higher tax rates, but is open to more tax revenue by limiting deductions. >> i will violate the pledge long story short for the good of the country only if democrats will do entitlement reform. >> another lawmaker who's breaking with the norquist agrees. >> i think everything should be on the table. i myself am opposed to tax increases, i'm not going to prejudge it, we should not be taking iron clad positions. >> late today in the situation room, republican kevin mccarthy, the house majority whip put a fresh spin on what seems to be the talking points. >> if the goal is to raise more revenue, what is the best way to do that? at the same time protecting the economy? if you're able to gain more revenue by closing special loopholes, and limiting them. and keeping the rate down, so you have better ground control. isn't that a better outcome. >> talk of tax deductions and closing loopholes. a big note on raising tax rates. a lot of talk, but not much real movement, at least for now. as for grover nor
back to 1986. first it was saxby chambliss. now south carolina republican senator lindsey graham. take a listen. >> when you're $16 trillion in debt, the only pledge we should be making to each other is to avoid the coming grief, and republicans, republicans should put revenue on the table, we're this far in debt, we don't generate enough revenue. i want to buy down debt and cut rates to create jobs. but i will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country, only if democrats will do entitlement reform. >> and i think that's important what he said there. only if democrats will do entitlements, as some democrats have pushed back on that. they do not think that that should be on the table. as f americans, they believe that there should be a balance between spending cuts and tax increases. about 67%, according to a new cnn/orc poll say that 29% say only spending cuts. and who will get the blame if we don't reach some kind of agreement here? gop clearly gets the brunt of the blame here. 45% say the gop, 34% say president obama, 15% say both. now as congress returns here
to promise they won't vote to raise taxes. south carolina senator lindsey graham is pushing back saying capping deductions would help generate revenue. the top republic on the senate budget committee explained graham's position. >> he is conditioning any tax increase on fixing these programs, social security and medicare, particularly in making sure that they are sound for the future. so that's lindsey's position. and he has talked about accepting revenue to accomplish that goal. >> republicans continue saying they don't want to increase tax rates arguing that will hurt job growth. democrats say the middle class could be spared from a tax increase now. >> however as we continue to negotiate a responsible path forward i remind everyone within the sound of my voice of one fact. this congress is where one vote away from avoiding the fiscal cliff for middle class families and small businesses. >> republicans point to a study done by the winston group which is a republic research firm which says 65% of americans back tax reform and spending cuts over raising taxes, shep. >> shepard: we are h
. rice will sit down with senators john mccain, lindsey graham, and kelly ayott. in recent days, senator mccain has softened his criticism as rice insists that she was relying on talking points from the intelligence community. last night, senator graham rejecting her defense but says he's open to today's meeting. >> she asked to meet with us and now we'll listen to what she has to say about her role in benghazi. the more i know about benghazi, the more upset i am that the consulate was even open on september 11th. when you look at the history and the reporting coming out of libya about the dangers, it should never have been open or heavily reinforced. after the attack, i think the story we were told about a spontaneous event caused by video where a mob turned into a riot is less credible than ever. >> she reportedly called the meeting. seems like a smart move. what do you think? >> well, i think it's a smart move for john mccain to take the meeting. they're boxed in. this is not a fight they want right now. it was a stupid fight to pick. they put themselves into a corner and now they've
harshest gop critics. those senators, john mccain, lindsey graham, kelly ayotte, were not satisfied, they said, with the ambassador's explanation for her comments following the benghazi consulate attack. cnn foreign affairs reporter elise labott has more details for us. she's in washington, d.c. this morning. elise, good morning. >> hey, soledad. well, what came out in those meetings and why senators say they're even more concerned, centers around the information that the cia had just after the attack about possible involvement in the benghazi attack that killed ambassador chris stevens and those three other americans. now, ambassador rice did not make reference to this information in her talk show appearances. the unclassified talking points she used were provided by the cia, were stripped of these references to al qaeda, because the information was classified and couldn't be delivered in public. now, after the meeting, ambassador rice acknowledged those talking points turned out to be incorrect. but that she stressed she and the administration never meant to mislead the american p
cain, lindsey graham, and kelly ayotte criticized explanations rice given in the past and obviously today and on the attack in benghazi the meeting doesn't appear to help smooth away for rice's widely anticipated nomination as secretary of state. here is senator ayotte moments ago ago. >> when you have a position where your ambassador to the united nations you go well beyond unclassified talking points in your daily preparations and responsibilities for that job and that is troubling to me. jenna: kelly wright, live in washington with more. kelly, the three senators just held the news briefing which we played a little bit from kelly ayotte. tell us generally what was their response? what sort of reaction they had to what they heard inside that closed-door meeting? >> reporter: let's stay on focus on that because that is really telling. each senator saw the tone being stunned by the information they heard in this closed-door meeting with u.n. ambassador susan rice. they are significantly troubled they say, more than that ever, which means there are more questions than answers as a result o
. senators ayotte, graham and mccain, republicans who had from the get-go before they talked to her vowed -- or threatened to block her nomination. so that was one thing. today is different because that senator you just played, susan collins, is among the last remaining moderate republicans here. she does have a lot of information about what happened because she is the top republican on the homeland security committee, and she actually has a history of supporting susan rice. she was the one who introduced susan rice when she was at her confirmation hearing for the post she's in now as u.n. ambassador. so the fact that susan collins even has questions, i asked her point blank if she could support rice for secretary of state, and her answer was not yet. she has to have other questions answered. that's not a good sign for rice, but we should underscore a couple of things. one, she hasn't been nominated yet. and, two, she -- rice does have a lot of support from democrats who still have the majority. the issue is whether or not she'll need, if she's nominated, 60 votes to get confirmed. >> wha
is watching. whether it is lindsey graham, peter king, john mccain, on and on, similar comment over the weekend. if another republican is watching that, what would you say to them if they areethinking about breaking this pledge? >> let's distinguish with what boehner have said. i certainly agree, if the economy grew at 4% instead of 2% for the next decade, the federal government would net an additional $5 trillion. you could pay all of obama's death down. connell: that is not what he is talking about. >> okay. i am sorry. what he said is what i said. what obama claims he said is a separate matter. boehner was very clear. obama said, oh, you have agreed to tax increases. the talks collapsed because obama misstated. connell: what you say to republicans who are thinking about breaking the pledge? >> look, most republicans have signed the pledge. even the ones who have not have made it very clear even when they ran for office, higher taxes have hurt the economy. they have spent too much money. the entitlements are looking to break the economy. we need to spend less. raising taxes to get
reform, serious reform on the table. republican lindsey graham is willing to put taxes on the table but wants to make sure democrats follow up with entitlements. >> let me salute lindsay graham what he said about revenue and taxes need to be said on his side of the aisle. we need to be honest on our side of the aisle. as we did under bowles-simpson put everything on the table. >> reporter: senator durbin, a top democrat in the senate says put everything on the table. though owe went on he is concerned about changes in medicare that might set off gaps in coverage, senior citizens not getting health care coverage. there you go. they're saying to put everything on the table but when you get in the details that's why they haven't come to a deal because the devil will be in the details, jenna. jenna: maybe they start with a salute and end with a handshake. ed, great to see you report great to see you. jenna: thank you very much. jon: several republican lawmakers are toning down their criticism of u.n. ambassador susan rice and her handling of the deadly attack on the consulate in libya.
graham to answer questions about the benghazi attack. word is that the president could pick -- his pick for secretary of state as early as this week. would you oppose rice if she were nominated? >> i'm sorry, i lost the feed. i can't hear -- >> can you hear me, sir? i'm afraid he has lost our audio. >> thanks to senator mike lee of utah, talking about the fiscal cliff this morning. not talking about ben gauzesy because the audio feed went down. >>> top stories this morning. winter storm headed for the northeast. we'll get a quick check on the weather with alexandra steel. >>> good morning to you guys. a quick storm, rain and snow moving in. you can see it there. it's finite. it will move in today and move out today as well. delineated in pennsylvania, the white where the snow is, pink is rain and snow and, of course, the rest is rain. we'll see the rain change over to snow as the moisture moistens up the atmosphere. we'll see the axis of the heaviest snow, one to three inches from harrisburg, allentown and here in northwest new jersey around norristown, new jersey. you could see a few i
for the good of the country only if democrats will do entitlement reform. >> senator lindsey graham this weekend on nbc. one of several senior republicans who say they will break ranks to reach a deal with the democrats. republican senator johnny isakson joins us this morning and has joined the norquist pledge. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> i don't want to make this a conversation only about grover because that seems to be all people want to talk about. i wonder if senator graham's comments and some others if you're beginning to really sense a turning of the tide here? >> well, first of all, you got to remember we have to talk about comprehensive tax reform and talk about spending cuts and talk about debt and deficit reduction. pulling out an isolated piece like raising rates or taking a mortgage interest deduction or whatever it may be, it doesn't serve a purpose. you have to look at the entire problem. if you don't do that, we're all dead. >> where does norquist fit in? has your own view on the pledge evolved? >> i'm not for increasing tax rates. i'm for reforming the c
with ambassador rice tomorrow along with lindsey graham of south carolina. they have joined john mccain in criticizing the potential nomination of susan rice, criticizing that nomination on the basis of ambassador rice's role in explaining what happened in the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. now nbc's andrea mitchell is reporting tonight that the acting director of the cia is going to be joining ambassador rice in person for that meeting tomorrow with those critical senators. we'll keep you posted if we learn more about this breaking news tonight. but the long and short of this is, number one, the acting cia director getting involved in resolving the factual matters that have been contested by republican senators, and two, we have the strongest signal we have had yet about who the president will likely nominate to replace hillary clinton. the highest profile position in the cabinet, alongside the attorney general, but it's big news in politics and big news in terms of american diplomacy. cabinet nominations are not always fights. but in this case, a susan rice secretary of
of her most outspoken critics, republican senators john mccain, lindsey graham, and kelly ayotte to set the record straight. rice had gone on five sunday talk shows days after the attack and called it a spontaneous demonstration sparked by an antimuslim film and did not mention the link to al qaeda. after all this taking on her critics, the republican senators weren't impressed. >> bottom line, i'm more disturbed now than i was before that the 16 september explanation about how four americans died in benghazi, libya, by ambassador rice, i think does not do justice to the reality at the time and in hindsight clearly was completely wrong. >> rice maintains she did nothing wrong. issuing a statement saying we stressed that neither i nor anyone else in the administration intended to mislead the american people at any stage of this process. peter brooks is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, general wesly clark and, of course, former democratic presidential candidate. senator mccain was asked who do you blame more at this point? ambassador rice or president obama? he says the pre
senator graham said this was for failed nomination of mr. bolton. and then they mentioned her in response to the 1990 african embassy bombings. there were two. take a listen. >> what troubles me so much is that the benghazi attacks in many ways echoes the attacks on those embassies in 1998 when susan rice was head of the african region for our state department. >> i should say that susan rice couldn't remember and wasn't able to give any particularly detailed answer, so they started with benghazi that failed. now in 1998. how long will it be before they ask for ms. rice's birth certificate? >> you know, i don't know. and i'm surprised by senator collins because she is a moderate within the republican party in the senate. usually a level-headed person. to bring the two together is a little extraordinary because in one benghazi, susan rice has, as richard eloquently said a moment ago, has nothing to do with anything in benghazi except she went on television to talk about it. but the situation in -- the bombings in the 1990s, while susan rice was in the clinton state department and, you know
graham of south carolina and then bob corker of tennessee. let's take a listen to their comments. >> i agree we shouldn't raise rates, but i think grover is wrong when it comes to we can't cap deductions and buy down debt. what do you do with the money? -- i will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country only if democrats will do entitlement reform. >> i'm not obligated on the pledge. i made tennesseans aware that the only thing i'm honoring is the oath i take when i serve when i'm sworn in this january. >> now, of course, both of those republicans are in the senates, easier to get this done in the senate than in the house. john boehner has a job once he negotiates with the president and other leaders of getting it through that chamber. i talk to a senior staff level member on the democratic side today in the senate who predicted that we're likely to see a two-stage negotiation and two-stage result. the first by the end of the year would be about a $1 trillion beginning of the $4 trillion overall package and the rest would be legislated next year. we'll see whet
americans including ambassador chris stevens. what senator lindsey graham said after the meeting. >> bottom line, i'm more disturbed now than i was before, that the 16th september explanation about how four americans died in benghazi, libya, by ambassador rice, i think, does not do justice to the reality at the time and in hindsight clearly was completely wrong. >> dana bash following developments on capitol hill. before susan rice went before these republicans, senators, they seemed to be backing away from criticizing her. now it looks like in speaking with them, this is backfired. can you tell us what happened? >> reporter: that's right. i was told by a source familiar with this meeting that the reason why the senators backed off public comments, softened them, they did, susan rice requested a meeting and felt that was the most appropriate thing to do not keep pounding her before they could talk face-to-face. you're absolutely right. by all accounts it did not go well inside that meeting held in a classified setting, i should tell you, with the acting director of the cia. listen to what j
xrooe hensive immigration reforce. >> i think ted cruz. lindsey graham and john mccain. i think people like paul ryan nf the house. people who come out of a sort of reagan-esque, kemp-esque pro growth camp within the republican party. i think there's a big opportunity for them to weigh in on the debate. >> when people talk comprehensive reform the big issue, a big issue, probably the biggest, is there a path to citizenship for people who were here. governor romney was firm on that point. did he leave the party on immigration in a bad place? >> i think the party has been suffering on the issue of immigration for years. i think the problem transcends mitt romney. i don't think his position helped the -- helped the republican problem but it predates him. the failure of mccain/kennedy was something republicans got blamed for. in the 1990s there were some really nasty debates and very few, you know, very few republican voices willing to stand up on the side of immigration reform. we've been suffering -- look, there is a nativist, isolationist protectionist strand within the republican party
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